A hospital has applied for a court order to remove a patient who has occupied a bed for more than two years. Whilst it may seem rather trivial, it is not and I will attempt in this article to explain why.

What exactly has happened?

The man, not named, had refused to leave the James Paget NHS University Hospital in Norfolk, having been there since August 2014. This is in spite of the fact that the hospital said he was "fit for discharge" and had even been offered other accommodation, the BBC reports. It was also revealed that it had been an "open secret" at the hospital that the man had been there for a while, with one patient who was also there calling it "ridiculous" and was "disgusted" at the situation.

The problems facing the NHS

However, what is the real problem is the effect that it is having on the NHS. There are many challenges that the NHS is currently facing. From an ageing population which requires ongoing treatment and specialist care to more and more people visiting A&E departments, the NHS is seen by many to be at crisis point. But the greatest problem that they face is the financial one as the My Health London (NHS) site states. With rising costs of services and supplies and technological breakthroughs that require investment, it seem to be causing a "huge economic disaster" for the NHS. It is also been stated that if no changes are made, there could be a 30 billion pounds sterling funding gap for the NHS nationally by 2020.

The financial strain

It is against this backdrop that action needs to be taken. Lord Carter's report into the NHS found that nearly one in 10 beds are being taken by someone "medically fit" to be released, the BBC stated. The report also found that delays in discharging patients out of hospital after treatment could be costing the NHS in England around 900 million pounds sterling a year.

Furthermore, the Department of Health stated that the average daily cost of a hospital bed is around 400 pounds sterling, which after calculations would mean that the man's stay at James Paget would cost in the region of 292,000 pounds sterling over the two years.

What needs to happen?

It is clear that the NHS is in financial trouble.

And it is at this point in time that help from those who use it is needed the most. The lack of foresight or appreciation from those who abuse the system is a major problem for the hospitals. But bit by bit, if people acted fairly and responsibly, the current financial problems at the NHS can be eased and dealt with. If not, the repercussions will be felt by all in the not too distant future.